Lunch Hour Lecture: The power of islands

I’m delighted to work you’re here I’m Raymond bloodsheds I’m chair and sustainable global resources and director of the Bartlett school of environment energy and resources and my main purpose today is to share one of the exciting news lunch Minds session and the today’s one is with dr Catalina’s potaro who is standing here next to me and her topic is about the poor of islands and she has written a book about it actually and you might have a chance to read through the book and to also give you a bit of a background about Catalina Catalina works as an associate professor in energy system dynamics and the nexus that’s more or less the title in the department that I’m heading and she has been written a lot on system dynamics on energy systems in particular but she also has done roundabout 90 other publications on all sorts of things and the latest idea is actually the islands and I’ll leave it to her to Catalina to explain why islands are interesting and fascinating and what stories are attached to it and what tools can be used to analyze the resilience of islands so welcome again to all of you here and over to you Catalina thank you thank you very much Raymond hello everybody and thank you for coming here especially in such a good weather outside so Bon Appetit for those which you have a lunch so yeah I’m going to talk about the power of violence I’ve had the violence laboratory at UCL and I’m an associate professor on global energy resources so yeah there is a lot of hidden history be captivating history for many islands and in the previous couple of hundreds of years some islands served as military servation training purpose immigration station and so many roles and many different things here just mentioned two examples the Nutmeg Island was traded for Manhattan by Dutch in 1677 to the British mainly because they were sole source of nutmeg which was one of the most valuable commodities in Western Europe in that time so basically largely because they set on available natural resource so they were traded another example I picked up was is Angel Island because of a geographical location it was mainly used as an immigration station to control entries to passengers from Asia to us and today is a state park but I’m not going to talk about the hidden history of fascinating hidden history of many islands what I’m going to talk about challenges and how we are what we are doing here at UCL about these challenges so here just to mention a couple of great challenges island suffers in this moment climate change is one of them waste from tourists and cruise ships another one plastic in oceans lack of investments so these are just a few of these big challenges and here we have mal diamond which according with the World Bank will could submerge by 2100 so multi ways really at high risk because of a high level sea level high sea level rise Marshall Islands also similarly to Maldives is place in the position of intense risk in terms of exposure to effect of climate change and sea level has been rising by three point millimeters per year and the water supply was being salinated by the flux of sea water and at the moment the mitigation action which is taking is relocation of a population another great challenge is is faced by to follow in this moment again because of sea level rise and what is really considered as a mitigation action is very much resettlement plans so in other words is we taught us to take substantial and sustained reduction of greenhouse gas emission and really to tackle climate change globally not only in some places will experience more extreme weather events and sometimes with high consequences and we already see here a couple of extreme cases another great

great challenge is plastic so marine litter it’s really growing as a global problem every year we have an average of about 8 million tons of plastic waste which ends up in sea in other words a truck of waste every minute it is estimated or so like between 80 and 95 percent of waste that enters the rivers seas and s worse does so from the land so but this has other consequences so the marine life like sea birds and turtles often a mistake of a floating plastic for food and this plastic affect more than our oceans actually is also have effects on our health on human health and especially through the seafood we are eating and so on and here just to give you an idea about what what it means in terms of years from plastic back which lasts 20 years to fishing lines which lasts six hundred years so you see many of these can be changed and we need to take action and we need to to do something ourselves as well so what we are doing here at UCL we came up with this idea with Islands laboratory so we really try to put together multidisciplinary team interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research so we currently we have I have 14 active researchers many collaborators we were working on several case studies on Greek islands Turkish islands Bahamas Scottish islands and so on and we are very much trying to answer and to find some answers to some of the problems which I mentioned and to think a little bit behind the normal boundaries of our thinking through this multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches so solutions are not only technical actually are also policies involves also policies mixes business model governance structure communities engagement so we need to really engage together so what is our experience so let’s say about equivalent of 85 percent years of experience in insular areas we cover more than 400 Islands case studies and very much we focus on energy low-carbon technologies modeling of energy systems resource Nexus water energy inland multiversal food the trade-off between them society calls impact on so we model different scenarios under different climatic conditions we looked at very much resilience and equality and then we try to define solutions which can help governments to define policies and to define planning and to take decision for design we aim to combine different methods and also to understand how we could transform islands in golden spots for suits ability to help communities and businesses and also to demonstrate how they could actually play a different role the central power point for energy and resources so we detected around 1900 small islands with a total population of approximately 20 million people global islands population is about 740 minions 3% of the islands population is living on small islands we are not covering on it or small islands we are really focusing on Islands nations almost half of the small islands are located within the Pacific Ocean the second most islands can be found on Atlantic and Arctic Ocean and then is the Indian Ocean with about 319 in the Caribbean with about 100 islands and military an area about 93 some islands have higher generation cost because of remote remoteness and also they have higher cost because transport cost of many transport cost over Islands has more potential for renewable edges energies some for more for solar energy hours for wind energy for geothermal and so on

so it’s very much sometimes it’s like tailor based solutions our time is more to learn from each other and then combining the solutions so what we tries to optimize for example in terms of energy to optimize to optimize energy resources and to look also at the trade-offs between different resources so we just we don’t look only energy but we look at the whole system and try to understand where actually changes should be made so this is just a little bit about what we are currently focus on so we focus on free research in three main research areas energy resource Nexus and circular economy energy system includes all sectors and also we look at the interconnection between Islands also interconnection between islands and mainland we also focus on micro grids climate events scenarios and we look at climate events we look at scenarios analysis in terms of resource allocation we know for example source allocation in case of disasters man-made and climate driven and also we look at how to mitigate risk reduction and resilience for circular economies circular economy we look at waste to energy primary how we can convert waste into energy and we look at also trade-offs between resources because it’s not only one single issue we have actually many more these are current projects we are running in this moment so Greek non interconnected islands Turkish islands Scottish islands which is 72 convert them into stem discipline resource hub we have a project on mobile education hub for system in the islands and circular islands and on top of that teaching so our two modules smart energy system on matrix modelling visualization of resource Nexus where students have possibilities to pick up a case study and then to use the models developed part of a laboratory and then to input the data and assess for case studies so why islands because and wire laboratory on islands it’s mainly because they are highly dependent on fossil fuels high cost of electricity production as well they are facing they are facing many challenges as I show you a little bit earlier so just to have to look us an example European Union so 2700 Islands in European Union population early 15 Millions so what European Union needs to do is to compensate the high cost of electricity production and dependence on fossil fuels about 3 billion euros annually so why not use this number and this figure to actually help to invest in these islands and transform them another issue is impact on tourism the natural resources so land resources and land biological diversity for example including vegetation and wildlife all are threatening but because of a large tourism infrastructure and facilities we already seen that for example Thailand Phuket area and many other islands there is a really strong competition between tourism and other sectors agricultural recreation areas and sound in in small regions especially and because of a lack of areas the lack of land areas to accommodate the stories increased land prices whenever issued the first station lose of biological diversity so all these are today problems with management I already mentioned a bit of waste so for small islands for example West treatment and disposal is a significant challenge and this really requires support urgently so but it’s so I’m talking about waste generated from tourists especially the marine life and coastal regions high volumes of waste disposal we already seen generated by tourist sector additionally with simple ushion from ship generated waste in additional significant pollution source for islands i understood that in some islands actually the waste from the ships are just dumped in violence without any cost

to be paid for it so actually that could be changed you know through some regulation or global rules so yes we have different factors and which we definitely need to do something about it which require some immediate actions and some of these are institutional so some of the institution needs to change the way they are thinking talk more with communities and engaged communities just not even in Foreman’s capacities in some cases this needs to be more clear and put in place we have also some lack of we identify also lack of regional consensus in some cases especially on some problems like sewage coastal water standards and so on so all these are problems which we need to look ahead we need to focus more on energy efficiency renewables and to pick up the best technologies which are available in that moment so what we are doing so we are actually looking with different mathematical models to look at different scenarios to assess some of these problems we collect data as I said we have more than 400 cases which we have been collected data for and in top of that we are organizing so we are organizing workshops engage with communities we also do surveying questionary and interviews so we can understand how we can tackle these problems so in terms of methods this is an example of isla model one of my baby let’s say so it’s very much like focusing on energy and the animation shows you how to optimize the system under different weather conditions we cover all the all the we comfortable demand and supply and also we cover all sectors so very much is an integrated all system modeling which can give you an idea about how the future could look with different options another and this you can see some of examples we’ve done so we have here three different islands the baseline year which was 2016 and we have energy mix on this and here is 2054 energy mix how it’s going to look so you see we have like scenarios where we look at renewables and zones so it different you see that the options are different so this various depends on the size of violence depends on the options so you really need to do like a complete study to determine that so of course there are different options and it’s possible to make these changes so just give you an idea about what like if we have like 100 kilowatt power of solar that will be Vacaville and of 44 tons of diesel fuel saved per years so things can be changed significantly and carbon emission could go down significantly as well this is demand so we can’t look only supply we can’t look only at energy generation but we need also to look at demand because demand is changing as well in some islands we’ve seen already like some demand increase because of transport for example because of a tourist especially it varies from season to season low season high season but also demand could change because of activities commercial activities or some industrial activities some industry are closing down or some others are putting in place and so on so we need to look at both so if you go on the website you’ll find the one which is in red you can click on it and you can see those changes one in red we are planning to put them so it would be more in soon and you will see all the 400 so good Islands practices we identify a couple of them especially like as I mentioned we work on Greece on Turkish islands so some examples we identify of good practices already which exist is for example in kilos island in grace they already installed PV wind and battery system and that was very much with grant support

in Bogota in Turkish islands we have through support with feed-in-tariffs already like 10.2 megawatts of wind has been installed and summertime is like using 8 megawatts in pick time in summertime and 2 megawatts is actually exported to the mainland so this way I’m saying it’s like if you do well and you implement these solutions in these islands actually they can become exporters they can become these golden spots not for the mainland and help also and another one is interconnection of Cycladic Islands this is a brick project and you can see in the picture like the existing cables and the next steps and so on in steps and indepence interconnection could work depends on the scale depends on the distances between islands in some cases is not worse to look so it’s better to look at micro grids for example so so just to give you a bit so we we go and we analyze we do more in-depth analysis just an idea of for example of energy cost on Islands for Greek islands in this case so the first graph one on emissions co2 emissions shows that the interconnection scenarios actually demonstrates almost 270 options across the decades and the interconnection scenario with high renewable energy attains a decrease of a power would 57 percent summer here in total of greenhouse gas emission by 2040 and comparing to 2020 and this is about like 70% comparing with the 1990 levels so the second vault enormous scenario actually recorded the highest emission level according with our study because actually it doesn’t allow for wind offshore large-scale deployment so it exceeds the interconnection scenario by more than 35 tons of co2 emissions in aggregated terms between 2020 in 2040 so but as I said interconnection not works all the time so sometimes just you need to look at microcredits another example is the generation mix for different scenarios with different install capacity and average generation prices for different scenarios and then here we look also we do statistics so this is for load status for Oak Creek Islands between 2020 and 2040 for example and here you can see the seasonal across the years daily amount redistribution of a sample of Greek islands it varies depends on the season and also depends on the hourly average a second model we have in Islands laboratory let’s say second baby is either free five model so it’s very much is a dynamic model of water energy land which we can analyze the trade-offs between resources under different climatic conditions and we can capture some of these dynamic between resources and very much very source and axis originating the interconnections between different resources and for example from the requirement of one resources and input you can produce another from the substitutability over two or more resources so very much we take a resource Nexus approach in in a more integrated view because it allow us to better understand this resource related question that sometimes is really difficult to answer in more traditional way so in more general terms resource resources serves the director functional inputs in the production process of another source or they can also substitute the use of another source so the indirect effects also have to be taken into account so claims for one resource can compete with other useful demands so as an example is land use either for the

production of food or for bioenergy for example so some of the strategic implications climate action so climate action data should be embedded in broader strategies of systems resource management a second one is how we manage nor enable resources and this is really key to system to development so but it’s not only energy is also about water and food security and land use and then a third point is about resource efficiency this is really a key to turn those challenges into business businesses and also to develop more opportunities so could be like waste-to-energy know could be products know from plastic to be transformed and reused in products and this could be the role of startup companies to pick up to be in the market so we looked a bit more at other good thailand’s practices so across the globe are not only challenges but actually some of islands are really they they really try to do and they do really well so this is an example so in violence of Copiah in so what they do is actually it’s the first island which was doing switch to biodegradable fishing fishing coolers boxes you see here like boxes to reduce the morning so this is the only the first island which has been taken this then another example is this island which what we did is install solar power station and storage on a coral cay and actually it was a very difficult place to manage babba manage another one is Sanford Lemmy in France and this one Marta vineyard in Ireland in u.s. so both of them so this one has a small run away so only small aircraft can land keep it – it’s controlled so they really don’t allow the minimize then this one it’s very much like living around like 100 of thousands people to go on violence so it’s quite selective then another good practice is Barbados is a really good example because they consider the electrical vehicle and actually they are considered as an electric vehicle paralyzed and they also created a battery lab and they use the end of life evie batteries of renewable energy storage and another example is palau which is hosting the biggest micro grid in the world right so what is our vision so very much is transferring knowledge from one island to another Island so capacity building design of the carbonization plants so there are broad similarities but they need to be documented so for example the same transition pathways that are implemented in violence in Mediterranean Sea for example will not work or may not work for islands located in Scotland sometimes you need to come up with this kind of tailor solution you can we we try to create catalogues of current energy activities and also to understand current energy view in current situation of energy and also resource use in this islands but also we try to look at policies and regulation to see what are the incentives programs or what are the kind of bilateral multilateral development plans in in those islands which I also to get in touch with communities and to get help from them to be honest I usually we get the data from these islands so we also need to refer to integrate integrated models so it’s not only like new more business models or communities so it could be new business models where communities are involved in that one so we can look at low-carbon technologies storage micro grids as well as other big

solution which could be supported by the governments and other institutions another important aspect is islands actually can function as test beds for the deployment of innovative integrated solution solutions and this could be for example low carbon technologies increase of renewable energy use of energy storage information communication technologies so really to maximize the synergies between the energy transport water and waste management for example so testing these solutions could then be implemented naturally geographical isolated areas of mainland such as small municipalities or mountains are our rural area so there are many synergies we identify between islands and villages Islands and cities really depends on the size location and different conditions crime conditions are one of the most important is how we make them more self-sufficient Systema t how you use their local resources use for the benefit of communities and local communities how we engage local participation of local employment community and agreement so some of opportunities for improvement and what we can what can be done to improve the current situation is we very much like grouped into four sets of opportunities in summary we have like political and economic barriers which have highest importance while the highest variance was found in barriers related to the category market failure for example distortion on fossil and fossil fuel lobby and this includes also the lack of regulatory framework and legislation for private investors the lack of legal framework for independent power producers and Power Purchase Agreements some of the gaps which exist in the targets and implementation another one is cost and financing so of course and financing our main barriers like high initial cost high transaction costs lack of incentives and subsidized and support for governments and in some cases land use competition on islands is another issue lack of understanding of a project cash flows from financing institutions so lack of private capital for example so all these other overcoming overcoming all these barriers is really important to take to the next step towards more renewable energies and more use of resource empty resources so I’m the key one is building resilience and quality so we really need to think about more about communities how we built up resilience and equality in these communities and I’m going to close the some recommendation for the system the transition so to provide some ideas about inclusive solution while taking benefits of exiting measures and initiatives and some of us are provide incentives for energy liberalization develop dedicated business model help more young people start up companies to come up with ideas get the support improving legislation and procedures engage more local communities local employment community agreement establish mekinese not on your local level but also established mekinese at global level as you’ve seen the problem of waste from ships for example and establish resilience mechanism thank you so there’s scope now for question and answers for questions from your side I might kick it off myself I mean I thought the sort of energy storyline is really very strong and it also matches with lots of what you have done in the previous years how strong would you say is this narrative and the evidence of cutting down on the current energy cost by smart systems like feed-in tariffs and could then the emergence of renewable energies also be used to really reach out for other solutions or does they need to be like a stronger emphasis on water or plastic challenges so how do you look at the sort of superiority the sort of strengths or the energy transition in comparison to some of the other challenges that you’re

facing so there are Island depends on the location geographic location of Ireland some islands do suffer more because of a plastic pollution so definitely this is like an urgent thing which needs to be improved but there are ways to integrate these resources not so water energy for example know or use of land you know so if you build up for example with plan to create waste-to-energy then you need also to maybe do a trade between land use for agricultural and land use for energy purpose yeah but it’s in benefit of the community so it really depends so it depends geographically depends of urgent problems they face currently so yeah renewable energy we already seen like fossil fuels most of them like high percentage actually rely on fossil fuels so definitely this is an urgent problem also but it can be done in different way with help from communities as well the modeling capabilities developed and I would encourage all of you to take a look at the website 450 cases have been collected so far they’re more the pipeline so pretty sure what you just mentioned is something you can discover while looking at the website so who wishes to have a word ask a question or share some insights here so energy liberalization I’m just more to do with like the biggest thing you would suggest is just reducing the subsidies for fossil fuels and then shifting subsidies towards more renewable energy or there are other things that we could add to the product indeed some of the islands really they are they receive subsidized very much fossil fuels definitely if you do reduce that or completely cut it down then but you need to support in parallel to provide subsidized for renewable energy and things could change period like step by step not immediately will be a little bit high prices at the beginning at song because you need to make an investment and so on but with help from the governments or more international help from our institution and so on then that could help like step by step in long term will be beneficial for sure yeah institution or so companies communities really needs to be this kind of engagement between and we’ve seen already some great initiatives for the past 10 years or so so but we need to speed up a little bit for things to really happen at the ground thank you yes thank you just to ask are you seeing any examples of island economies controlling the packaging excuse me of materials coming into their own economies as a means of reducing what has to eventually leave or get land filled or or dumped in some way good question we’ve seen like I wouldn’t call it an exactly islands but Indonesia and Malaysia in fact that’s been coca in coping with some of the plastic imports following the Chinese strong policies and as far as I know they have adopted policies to ban the imports of plastic waste into their territory and that probably captures some of the islands Island as well I know I’m not thinking so much of the waste I’m thinking of primary products coming in for use on an island is there a wet are there any islands you know legislative mandate in controlling the ways in which goods are imported into their own economies to reduce waste you know at source so to speak I’m aware for example in Thailand recently they put a regulation in place to cut through plastic bags so they do not accept anymore where regulation is going to be soon in place so yeah but not particular products yeah I mean there might be an issue with WTO because it would have an impact on the production practices but on the other hand you would think many of these islands they run like tourist hotspots and they have a purchasing policy and you would think that indeed they are strong enough to require that whoever supplies products to them follow certain standard some practical terms about saying that the chasing power is relatively high in particular in those islands where you have like a visible tourism endless maybe in others too

I am aware of some resorts or equal resorts which actually they do not accept anything like package very much they accept everything like in big books Sam we are option can happen thank you so I’m wondering about energy supply of the countries the islands located in the Pacific sort of for instance to value or Kiribati well what is the energy where is the energy coming from is it already located sorry produced locally mostly or is it coming from one country especially or several several countries it really depends if they are interconnected or not or depends if I bring the diesel for example for shapes you know so it really depends so you can also like go for micro grids option yeah so you can have also like solar PV with the solar thermal you know the combination of a micro grid or it depends what option you want if you have interconnections like in the Greek islands for example some of them then yes if you invest for example in wind and solar but a larger scale so you can have for example sort of farms no and then you can export that to the mainland or vice versa when you have a deficit of it you can import from the mainland so because solar and it’s volatile hi I would like to ask because we were just talking about the self-sufficiency in energy sector is there also new trend you see in terms of flexible food systems or other yeah like food would be a part where I would be interested in if there’s like since like sustainable Jesus causing also other areas do you see a shift there also to think more about resource locally and become more self dependent as of independent it really depends on yeah geographical location climate conditions and very much like size of islands and opportunities in terms of land use and Sun so I’m in favor of local food production but sometimes reality is not like that you need to import food and I’ve seen already this cases so it’s it varies a lot so some produce the food in their Islands some do import the food it really depends on geographical location I was excused renewable energy industry will need land use and possibly destroying the native ecosystem so just wanted to make and deforestation also has negative impact on global warming so I serious whether that whether people well there’s a certain limit as to how much land the industry will take place or will they keep on expanding okay so it depends really you can have lots of solar PV on the roots of the every individual building no you can also you can have a combination of solar farms for example and then yes you do need to have a trade between land use for solar energy and land use for agriculture but we really need to think about how we tackle climate change how we really reduce the carbon emissions now so if we continue to use fossil fuels no and especially like transporting ships you know through ships like fossil fuels so then you need to make a trade now so between land use and renewable energy what I mean the point formerly stood is very interesting and that when a developer to said at the end these Julian’s strategy you might have higher economic cost for the current subsidies of fossil fuels and you might instead have higher environmental cost if you do it wrong with like the land-use change and there is indeed like in general a good point but it’s also probably where your model becomes interesting because I understand that much of the trade-offs can be dealt with via modelling approach probably following some service you are doing exactly so yeah exactly so we can provide technical lien idea and also we can look at various scenarios so on to picture a little bit how it’s going to look but then you really need to talk with communities than to look at for policies regulations which exist fair and so on and then to combine them I understand we need to close is that correct and following also some advice guidance

here so the last question that you might have had in mind you might just approach catalina directly I also had a Creston mine and I would probably just pose it here because it’s more an invitation to the audience here we talked through the data requirements to run all these case studies and it would probably be interesting thinking that the data is just not available in many of the international databases there’s a point where students as errs might engage with you and helping not just with data collection but really to help you with the exciting research to tackle those those eminent questions so thanks a lot things in particular to Catalina but also thanks to all of you for coming and thanks for to you cell for hosting us here thanks a lot you